|(L-R) Chapter 421 Vice President Nicky Castoro, Patricia Lockhart, Chapter 421 member Richie Martin, PS 57 Proncipal Karyn Lind, Chapter 421 President Gene DiGiacomo, and Chapter 421 member Frank Mulholland.|
2013 Patricia Lockhart, a science teacher at PS 57 in Staten Island, was
teaching third grade students when she had an idea of building an old
fashioned bike for the class. After careful research and
consideration the project wasn't feasible. Not giving up she
pondered on another idea. She remembered her childhood days when
she, along with her friends, would build go carts. There must be
some Soap Box Derby somewhere, she thought. Indeed she did find
that there was a school soap box derby race. She vowed to raise
the money to build a soap box car for entry into the race. And she
The following year Ivan and Isabell, a brother and sister team, finished first in the Queens Flushing Meadow race. It was now off to Akron, Ohio for the Superkids National Soap Box Derby. The racing team finished second in the nation. This resulted in working with a movie producer on a film about the NYC Soap Box Derby. Ivan raced in a dual-seat car with a movie star's autistic son. All this touched Patricia's heart. She, along with support from the PS 57 staff, decided to start a Superkids program at their school and spread it throughout the city.
Since the original Superkids program was started by Vietnam veterans, the school reached out to VVA Chapter 421. Following Patricia's PowerPoint presentation, the Chapter, with resounding applause, to build a Soap Box Car for the PS 57 Superkids and entry into the Soap Box Derby race on Fathers Day on June 19, 2016 in Central Park. Nicky Castoro, Frank Mulholland, Richie Martin, and Gene DiGiacomo of Chapter 421 jumped in to engineer and build the car. The winner will go to compete in the National Soap Box derby in July in Akron, Ohio.
And so, the partnership of PS 57 and VVA Chapter 421.